The following is a guest post from Manu at La Chanchita.
La Chanchita is a 1966, 911 Mercedes-Benz bus. It used to be a city bus in Buenos Aires in the sixty’s before they converted it into a truck. We bought it last year to give her a third life as a motorhome!
It took us 9 months to do the conversion. We had the chance to use a carpinter shop at home so we could build it in wood the way we wanted.
The plan is to use the bus to bring people, mainly adventurers and extreme sports lovers, to discover South America. We wanted it to be totally autonomous, with a good insulation.
We are Freeskiers and travel a lot during the winter, that’s why we decided to install a wood stove which guarantees a warm and dry interior with a lower cost and definitly more comfort than any other heating system.
We decided to put 12v LEDs for illumination so we have very low consumption and don’t need to be plugged in on 220v. We also have a 12v to 220v converter in case we need to plug in phones or computers.
We also installed 2 water tanks. A 350L tank outside under the bus and a 150L inside. So we can switch from the outside tank to the inside tank when temperatures go down to be sure the water will never get frozen.
All the mechanics have been changed for a 1114 Mercedes-Benz engine with a truck differential with high and low gear so we can climb up in the Cordillera de los Andes easily.
About the Project
South America offers endless possibilities for extreme sports, travelling, photography and filming lovers. But most of the spots and ski resorts in the Andes are not always easy to access. As opposed to Europe or North America, transportation is not always well organized and some stations offer no tourist accommodation or transport service. That is why we decided to convert a bus into a comfortable motorhome.
With all services on board (Sleep 6, water, electricity, shower, toilet , wood stove) the Chanchita bus is completely autonomous and gives you the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time. It gives you the chance to always have first tracks!